Sir John Malcolm

In the north transept of Westminster Abbey is an over life-size statue, by Sir Francis Chantrey, in memory of Sir John Malcolm (1769-1833), soldier and statesman. It shows him in uniform with his left hand on a sword. The inscription reads:

In memory of Major General Sir John Malcolm, G.C.B. &c. Born at Burnfoot of Esk, Dumfriesshire, MDCCLXIX, Died in London MDCCCXXXIII. Employed confidentially in those important wars and negociations which established British supremacy in India by the indefatigable and well-directed exertion of those extraordinary mental and physical powers with which Providence had endowed him, he became alike distinguished as a statesman, a warrior, and a man of letters. Disinterested, liberal and hospitable, warm in his affections and frank in his manners, the admirer and patron of merit, no less zealous, during the whole of his arduous and eventful career, for the welfare of the natives of the east than for the service of his own country, his memory is cherished by grateful millions, his fame lives in the history of nations. This statue has been erected by the friends whom he acquired by his splendid talents, eminent public services and private virtues.

John was born on 2nd May 1769, son of George Malcolm (1729-1803) and his wife Margaret, daughter of James Pasley. He was employed by the East India Company and went to Madras. Becoming fluent in Persian he was sent as envoy to that country. On 4th July 1807 he married Isabella Charlotte Campbell (d.1867) and had one son George, who became a soldier, and four daughters. He later became Governor of Bombay and finally returned to London in 1831. He died on 31st May 1833 and was first buried in St James's Church, Westminster. He was moved from there to Kensal Green Cemetery in London by his wife.

Further reading

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (2004) for John and his brothers Charles and Pulteney.


2nd May 1769


30th May 1833


Soldier; statesman


North Transept

Memorial Type


Material Type


Sir John Malcolm
Sir John Malcolm

This image can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library

Image © 2024 Dean and Chapter of Westminster